Build Your Own Scale Model Wooden Log Cabin House

Bring out your inner carpenter with this challenging scale model log cabin project.
Christopher McFadden

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Are you looking for a new project to "while away" the hours? Then this 1/72 scale model log cabin might be just the ticket? 

We think you'll agree, the final model looks almost real. This guide uses an off-the-shelf model kit, but you could, if you are up to it, build all the components yourself using balsa wood or popsicle sticks. 

diy log pile house complete
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started. 

Bits and pieces needed

Step 1: Unbox the model and begin assembly

The first step, like any model, is to unbox the model, arrange the parts, and begin construction. As this model kit is primarily composed of wood, little to no preparation (removing mold lines, etc) of the parts is required. 

diy wooden house unbox
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

How you assemble the model will be completely dependant on the model in question, so be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. They are there for a reason. 

Use wood glue, where required, to begin the assembly of the main wooden frame to the model house. 

diy wooden house begin assembly
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

As this particular model is a log cabin-style building, construction will be similar to a real-life one, as start building from the foundation upwards. 

If supplied, and required, be sure to include and structural supports, like floor timbers, as you go. This may need some modification of the standard kit. 

diy wooden house flooring
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

When laying floorboards, you may need to flatten off the tops of some of the wooden components. Glue and affix the floorboards as needed. 

diy wood house floorboards
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Continue laying the main wall timbers, leaving space for doorways and windows, as instructed. Take your time with this step, and enjoy it -- it is very therapeutic. 

diy wooden house walls
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 2: Prepare the roof supports and clean up any openings

With the main wall elements complete, it is now time to add the roof. If required, cut out slots for the supporting joists, and glue them into place. 

diy wooden house roofing joists
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, and if needed, widen and clean up any windows and doorways to the house using a modeling knife. File down as required. 

diy wooden house windows
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

If any gaps have opened up between the timbers, add small slithers of wood, glue them into place, and cut off the excess. Alternatively, you could use some form of wood filler. 

Step 3: Build the doors and window shutters

Next, take the components needed for the doors and windows and begin construction. If the parts are very small, use tweezers to assist you here. 

diy wooden house doors
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Add any door and window frame pieces, as needed, and carefully remove any metal components from the model kit sprues -- like door hinges. 

Assemble as needed. If door hinges are moveable, be sure to assemble correctly using tweezers and your modeling knife. 

diy wooden house door hinges
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Glue any and all metal pieces, like the hinges and handles, etc, to the model using superglue. 

Step 4: Add glazing

Next, it is time to add the glazing to the house model. Using your modeling knife, carefully cut out glazing pieces to fit the windows of the building. 

This may already be pre-prepared, but if not, measure to size and carefully cut them out. 

diy wooden house glazing
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Adhere the glazing to any window frames, as well as, any other details like muntins, etc -- again using tweezers as needed. 

diy wooden house finished window
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Glue each finished window into its respective opening. Next, cut out, if needed, and glue on to the model any other window features like shutters and window sills. 

diy wooden house window sills
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 5: Build the main roof frame

Next, create the main roof space "floor" using strips of wood, as instructed. Then, begin to measure and cut out the roof rafter elements. 

You will need to trim off the edges of the main rafter at roughly 45-degree angles. Build the roof gable ends, as needed.

diy wooden house gable ends
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

You will need two of these -- obviously. It is important to note that the roof to this model is detachable. Bare that in mind when constructing the roof. 

Next cut out strips of wood and add the roof gable cladding. Trim off any excess, as needed.

diy wooden house gable end cladding
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

File down any cut edges to remove splintering. Now, add any windows to the roof gable ends, as before with the walls, and glue the gable ends into place. 

With that complete, cut out, if needed, and glue into place the roof purlins. You may need to cut out small notches in the gable end rafters to do this. 

diy wooden house roof purlins
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 6: Build the porch

If your model has a porch, now is the time to begin assembly of that. Cut to size, if required, the supporting wooden frame elements, and glue into place on the model. 

diy wooden house porch
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

As with the main house, assemble and attach the porch roof pieces too. Add aesthetic embellishments as needed too. If supplied, also build and add railings to the porch. 

diy wooden house railings
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, fashion, and glue into place, the porch roof. 

diy wooden house porch roof
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, if not already completed, build the main roofing elements too. Cut to size, if needed, and also cut out any notches needed to accommodate lower-level roofing elements, like the porch roof, at the eave level. 

Glue into place on the purlins you previously added. 

diy wooden house main roof
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, you can now add embellishments to the exterior like decorative roof gables. You can also add any other details like a chimney stack at this point too. 

diy wooden house chimney
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Step 7: Paint the model, if needed

Next, it is time to slap on some paint. You can skip this step if not required. Stain the bare wood with the tone of paint you wish --like the floorboards for example.

To do this, thin down the paints and wash over the surface of the wood. This may take a few coats. 

diy wooden house paint
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

For added depth, use a mixture of darker watered-down colors, or thinner-down oil, to wash over all desired areas of the wood. Always wait for the previous coat of paint to dry fully before adding any washes. 

diy wooden house tone
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Rinse and repeat for all surfaces of the wooden house model you want to be painted or stained. For the main external wall timbers, you may want to pick out the wood grain too with very dark paint.

Alternatively, you can simulate it using a sturdy brush to paint on wood grain. 

diy wood house wood grain
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that, your DIY wooden log cabin house model is complete. Continue to add extra details as desired. 

Since the roof can be removed, you may also want to explore building some furniture for the interior? We'll leave that decision completely up to you. 

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